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KHAMTT.

is spoken at the east eucl of the Lakhimpur District, between Mishmi and
Singpho, on the south side of the Brahmaputra. It is also spoken by large numbers in
the Khamti Long country, beyond our frontier.

A history of the Khamtls is given ante, p. 63, and a list of authorities regarding
their language will be found on p. 7 7. Mr. Needham is of opinion that almost all the words
used in Khamti arc quite different from those in use among Dr. Cushiiig's Shan, As ex-
plained on p. 66 ante, I am, Tuth all deference to Mr, ISJeedhain's superior authority,
unable to agree to this somewhat sweeping statement. A glance at the Ahom vocabulary
on pp. 120 and ff, will show how closely allied Shan (especially Northern Shan), Khamti,
and Ahom are to each other. I should prefer to look upon Khamti, Northern Shan, and
Southern Shan, as three very closely allied dialects of the Northern Tai language,

We are fortunate, as regards Khamti, iii having Mr. Keedham's excellent Grammar
for a guide. There is, therefore, no need for an elaborate analysis of the language, such
as has been made for Ahom.

It will be sufficient to give a brief summary of its principal grammatical peculiari-
ties based on Mr. Needham's work. Por the sake of brevity, I shall abandon the use of
phrases such as * words performing the functions of nouns/ * words performing the func-
tions of verbs/ and so forth, and shall speak only of nouns, adjectives, pronouns, verbs,
etc.j but it must be throughout remembered that the case is exactly the same as in other
Siamese-Chinese languages, and that though, for shortness, I may use the word ' noun/
I mean really e a word performing the function of a noun/ and so for the other parts
of speech. Like Ahom, Khamti, properly speaking, has no parts of speech.

ALPHABET.

The Khamti Alphabet, which is a variety of the Shan Alphabet, which, in its turn,
was borrowed in historic time from the Burmese, contains thirty-three letters. Of these
sixteen are vowels and seventeen are consonants. It is not so complete as the older
Ahom Alphabet. In the vowels it has not the letters a and e, the first of which, hpw-
ever, occurs in Shan. In the consonants, like Shan, it wants the letters g> gh, j, fh, d,
dht 5, and bh. It has, however, the letters y and w which are wanting in Ahom,

The Khamti letters as used in writing will be found under Ahom, mte, p. 81.
The following is the Khamti Alphabet in the usual printing characters. It differs from
the written letters in not having the black dot which is so characteristic of the latter.
In another column I have given the Shan Alphabet for the sake of comparison.

VOWELS AND DIPHTHONGS.


	Khamti
	Shan.
	Transliteration.
	Pronunciation,

1
	,00
	As in Khamti
	a, 3
	As in ' America ', ' father '.

2
	ęt
	"
	a
	As in 'father1.